buffalo fried chicken sliders with blue cheese, sweet pickle slaw, and homemade potato chips
yield: 8 servings
Combine the chicken and buttermilk in a bowl, making sure all the pieces of chicken are submerged. Cover the bowl and let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Using a mandolin, thinly slice 8 oz of cucumbers (they should almost be paper thin, but not falling apart). Add the sliced cucumbers to a shallow bowl. Combine the water, sugar, apple cider vinegar, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring so that all of the sugar and salt dissolve. Turn off the heat.
Pour the pickling liquid over the cucumbers. Use a folded piece of plastic wrap to press the cucumbers down and make sure they are submerged. Let sit out for 30 minutes.
Pour enough oil into a heavy-bottom, medium sized shallow pot (I used a Le Creuset Dutch Oven) to come about half way up the sides. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches somewhere between 350F and 375F.
When the oil is at temperature, use a mandolin to thinly slice 1 of the potatoes (just a little less than 1/8 of an inch). Immediately place the potato slices into the hot oil, working in two batches so you don’t overcrowd the pot. Fry the chips for a few minutes until golden brown and crisp, gently stirring often. Use a spider to drain the chips and transfer them to paper towels. Immediately season with a good pinch of salt.
Repeat the process with the remaining potatoes.
Pour the hot sauce into a 12” sauté pan. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and add the butter in two batches, whisking until melted. Whisk in the paprika and Worcestershire sauce. Turn off the heat. (If the butter gets too hot, the sauce will break.)
Remove the bowl of marinated chicken from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the flour and salt in a shallow dish. Make sure all the potato chips are done frying and the oil is between 350F-375F.
For the slaw, add the cabbage, radicchio, green onions, and mayo to a bowl. Mix well. Add about 2 tbsp of pickling liquid to the mixture. Drain the rest of the liquid from the pickles (you can reserve this for another use). Once the pickles have dried slightly, add them to the slaw. Mix well and season with a pinch of salt to taste.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Transfer the chicken from the buttermilk to the flour. Coat the chicken extremely well in the flour, making sure that every single crevice of the chicken is coated. Working in batches, transfer the chicken to the hot oil, shaking off the excess flour as you go. You don’t want to overcrowd the pot or else the chicken won’t crisp. Fry until golden brown, about 6-8 minutes. Prepare a sheet pan with a wire rack over top. Transfer the chicken to the rack. Take the temperature of the chicken. If needed, transfer the chicken to the oven and bake until done, typically about 6 minutes longer (the internal temperature should be at 165F).
Remove the chicken from the oven. Transfer each piece of chicken to the buffalo sauce and coat well. Cut any of the larger pieces of chicken down so that they fit the bun. Use the pieces you cut off to fill the additional 2 buns, usually 2 pieces on each.
To assemble the sliders, lay all of the toasted buns out. Place a little bed of watercress on the bottom bun. Place the chicken on top. Lay a slice of blue cheese over the chicken. Top with the sweet pickle slaw. Close the bun and enjoy with a side of potato chips.